Video Game Genres in the Gulf: What Are the Gulf Gamers Preferences?

The Gulf region, specifically the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, has a diverse gaming landscape with various genres enjoying significant popularity. The substantial potential of the Gulf region has not gone unnoticed. Game developers and publishers are now actively targeting the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market through gaming localization , recognizing its vast opportunities.

Video Game Genres Statistics in Gulf:

A Survey Reveals Popularity of FPS and RPG Genres Among Saudi Gamers

According to a Statista 2023 survey, first-person shooter (FPS) games were the most played genre among professional gamers in Saudi Arabia, with 58% of respondents indicating their preference. Interestingly, role-playing (RPG) and strategy games were equally popular, each attracting 25% of professional gamers.

The survey also highlighted the appeal of other genres, with racing, fighting, third-person shooter, and battle arena games each capturing the interest of 16.7% of professional gamers.

These findings underscore the diverse gaming preferences within the Saudi gaming community, with FPS and RPG genres leading the pack among professional players. The survey results provide valuable insights for game developers and publishers looking to cater to the growing Saudi gaming market.

Statista has published a survey showing the Saudi gamers preferences and these were the results:

🔰Multiplayer Games: 58% of professional gamers in Saudi Arabia preferred playing multiplayer games.
🔰Co-op Games: Co-op games were the second most popular game type among professional gamers, with 33% of respondents preferring this genre.
Casual Gamers.
🔰Single-Player Games: Single-player games were the most popular among casual gamers, with 42% of respondents preferring this type of game.
🔰Mobile Games: Puzzle games were the most popular genre on mobile, played by 39% of the online population in Saudi Arabia.
🔰Sport Games: Sport games were the second most popular genre on mobile, played by 34% of the online population.
🔰Racing Games: Racing games were the third most popular genre on mobile, played by 31% of the online population.
🔰Adventure Games: Adventure games were the fourth most popular genre on mobile, played by 29% of the online population.

Saudi Arabia stands out as the gaming powerhouse among Arabic-speaking nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This distinction is attributed to the country's unique combination of a large population and high spending power, resulting in the highest revenue in the gaming industry. The country has a high spending power, with a GDP of over $750 billion in 2022 and the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow significantly, with a projected growth rate of 8.53% from 2024 to 2027. This is why we’ve focused on the Saudi market in the numbers above.

The Most Popular Game Genre in the GCC, Levant, and Africa

The Fintech Times Magazine has mentioned the PWC that overviews the potential of gametech industry in the middle east and Africa region.

Shooter and Sports Games: The most popular genres in the Gulf region are shooter and sports games, like Fortnite, Fifa, Overwatch, and Rocket League being among the biggest games.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) and Shooter Games: In the Levant region, MOBA and shooter games are the top genres. League of Legends, CS: GO, Minecraft, and Fortnite are the favorites among gamers.
Arcade, Strategy, Sports, and Casual Games: In Africa, arcade, strategy, sports, and casual games are the most popular genres.

The MENA gaming landscape is diverse, with distinct preferences for gaming genres and titles across different regions. Understanding and catering to these regional differences will be crucial for game developers and publishers looking to succeed in the rapidly growing MENA gaming market.